Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jayasuriya’s exclusion may prove costly for Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan all rounder, Sanath Jayasuriya has been dropped from the squad.  He was not one of the twenty players who were offered new central contracts by Sri Lanka Cricket for the upcoming season. Jayasuriya who is now 41 years old, has been playing since 1989 and played an essential role in Sri Lanka winning the 1996 World Cup. Despite Jayasuriya’s public wishes to play until the 2011 World Cup before retiring, he was not amongst the twenty players who were offered contracts, which could be blamed on his recent poor performance.
Jayasuriya held the record for the highest Test score by a Sri Lankan, 340 against India, and the longest partnership in a Test match, with Roshan Mahanama, where they managed 576 runs in 1997. However, almost 10 years later, the records were broken by fellow Sri Lankans, Mahela Jayawardene with partner Kumar Sangakkara.  Jayasuriya also holds the honour of being the first Sri Lankan and the 33rdcricketer in history to reach the 100 Test mark.
Jayasuriya also has an impressive record in his One Day International career, he holds the fourth highest One Day International score with Viv Richards, and also boasts one of the four highest individual Sri Lankan scores. He is the current holder of the record for the fastest fifty in ODI’s, which he scored just off of 17 balls. He was the record-holder for the fastest century and the world record for most ODI sixes, both of which he lost to Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi.
He became the fourth batsman in the world to score more than 10,000 runs and the second batsman to score more than 12,000 and 13,000 runs in the history of the One Day Internationals. He also holds the third highest number of centuries in One Day Internationals, with an impressive 28 centuries. In addition to that he heads the most international ODI caps, 444, closely followed by Sachin Tendulkar of India.
Jayasuriya made his mark in Twenty20 cricket as well, in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, he impressed by scoring two centuries in the group stages.
His form started declining and he didn’t impress too much in the One Day International series against England after the World Cup, which Sri Lanka lost 3-2. In 2007, he signed for Warwickshire in the Twenty20 Cup, but only a year later he signed with the Mumbai Indians to play in the Indian Premier League. He now plays with Worcestershire Royals in their Twenty20 cup campaign.
Glenn McGrath said, Jayasuriya was in his list of XI toughest batsmen, “it is always a massive compliment to someone to say they changed the game, and his storming innings in the 1996 World Cup changed everyone's thinking about how to start an innings.” Jayasuriya whose trademark shot is a lofted cut over point, can diversify with both cuts and pulls. Sri Lanka Cricket’s decision to leave Jayasuriya out may prove costly, because despite his age and recent poor form, the Sri Lankan star still has a lot to offer.


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